#8 Dartmouth Nips #14 Princeton, 7-6 in Overtime

HANOVER, N.H. -- Coming into this afternoon's women's lacrosse game, the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team had an 0-4 record in NCAA play vs. Princeton.

All that changed with 2:46 left in overtime when Big Green senior Casey Hazel (Reisterstown, Md.) fired a close-range shot for a 7-6 victory over Princeton and Dartmouth's second straight trip to the Final Four.

"Obviously we needed a goal," said Hazel, "and everyone was going really hard. There was a lot of intensity toward the end."

Hazel took a feed from sophomore Kristen Barry (Duxbury, Mass.) and made the most of it. "I just ran into the ball and caught it."

That broke a 6-6 tie and sends Dartmouth to the semifinals against Notre Dame. Duke and 2005 champion Northwestern play in the other game on Friday, May 26 at Boston University. The championship finals are slated for Sunday, May 28 at 12 noon.

The Big Green (13-5) jumped out to a 6-3 lead at halftime as junior Jen Pittman (New Canaan, Conn.) scored all three of her goals in the first 30 minutes.

Princeton's Allison Murray and Pittman traded goals for a 2-2 tie with 9:35 elapsed, before Hazel, junior Whitney Douthett (Newtown, Pa.), Pittman and Barry scored four straight.

With 2:58 remaining until the break, Katie Lewis-Lamonica got the Tigers within three, 6-3.

Princeton (12-6) then shutdown the Dartmouth attack in the second half, while scoring three goals -- including Murray's third of the game -- for a 6-6 tie. Holly McGarvie connected on a free position shot with 2:40 left in regulation to force the overtime.

"It was a very typical Dartmouth-Princeton game, right down to the wire," said Big Green coach Amy Patton. "I'm just so proud of our kids because we had a tough second half. We got some opportunities and the ball didn't go in. And that can be fairly deflating at times. I was just really impressed with how our kids dug in, redefended hard, and our defense came up with some incredible stops.

"When they took the field in the overtime, I could just tell in their eyes," said Patton. "They had a look in their eyes that they were going to find a way."

Not surprisingly, the statistics were even. Dartmouth had a 20-18 advantage in shots and a 33-29 lead in ground balls. But the Big Green held an 11-7 advantage in draw controls, which helped Dartmouth's offense, especially on Hazel's gamewinning goal.

Dartmouth senior Devon Wills (Denver, Colo.) had an outstanding game with seven saves, four ground balls and one caused turnover. She stopped a point-blank shot by Princeton's Murray with less than a minute to go in overtime.

"Well, you know that with under 30 seconds, somebody is going to shoot if they lower their shoulder," said Wills. "So when I saw it coming, I just said, 'Sit there and wait.'"

- - - -

ANOVER, N.H. - All season long, the Princeton women's lacrosse team has been a second-half team. On Saturday at Dartmouth in the NCAA quarterfinals, the Tigers nearly completed the ultimate second-half comeback, only to have Dartmouth's Casey Hazel and Devon Wills end the dream in overtime.

Hazel's goal off the draw control 14 seconds into the second three-minute overtime period put Dartmouth ahead, and Wills saved Alison Murray's shot on the other end with 30 seconds left, as the Big Green advanced to the national semifinals with a 7-6 victory in yet another overtime classic between the two Ivy rivals.

Hazel's goal was Dartmouth's first in a 36-minute span. Princeton (12-6) held the Big Green (13-5) scoreless throughout the entire second half and first overtime period, coming back from a 6-3 halftime deficit to tie the score at 6-6 with 2:40 left in regulation on a Holly McGarvie free-position goal.

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2006-05-20



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